Wikipedia defines a chapbook as “… an early type of popular literature printed in early modern Europe. Produced cheaply, chapbooks were commonly small, paper-covered booklets, usually printed on a single sheet folded into books of 8, 12, 16 and 24 pages. They were often illustrated with crude woodcuts, which sometimes bore no relation to the text. When illustrations were included in chapbooks, they were considered popular prints.
The tradition of chapbooks arose in the 16th century, as soon as printed books became affordable, and rose to its height during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many different kinds of ephemera and popular or folk literature were published as chapbooks, such as almanacs, children's literature, folk tales, nursery rhymes, pamphlets, poetry, and political and religious tracts. The term "chapbook" for this type of literature was coined in the 19th century.”
Chapbooks have come back into vogue in the 21st century. Some contain poetry on one subject, essays on multiple subjects or a compilation of essays, poetry, photos and short fiction. My chapbooks fall under the latter. They are great fun to put together and mine usually includes all of the above. I try to pick subjects that I find fascinating and also essays on lesser known topics, such as the Torrins House or female Nazis. Chapbooks also give me an opportunity to share poems I’ve written, sayings I like and some of my photography which is my second love next to writing.
My chapbooks are a gift to my readers as they tend to broaden their knowledge and perspective on life and history. And as I said, they are a great of fun to compile.
My first chapbook, Small Atrocities, is available through Amazon now. In it I have included such diverse topics as The Black Death, The Bradbury Building and creepy little stories such as The Hallway. It houses a great deal of my cemetery photos and other artwork.
My second chapbook, Graveyard Dust, which will be available shortly, is centered round the dark side of the female species. Women can be and are just as bad as men in their depravity, brutality and wickedness and the stories included in this chapbook prove it. It is also peppered with great photography and other goodies.
My third chapbook that I am already working on will again be a mixed bag of stories, essays and photographs that will surely enlighten, entertain and educate. I hope you will enjoy all three as they become available.